Thursday, February 10, 2005

What's the French for "arse"?

The company I work for provides French Language classes for its employees and "mon coll├Ęgue" has been taking classes for a few months. This week he decided that he wanted to join my (slightly more advanced [but only because we've been doing it for longer] class).

He gave some cock-and-bull story about getting the wrong gender on a French word and shocking our teacher by saying "arse" when he meant "queue". He claims the two words are pronounced the same but with "La" for one and "Le" for the other.

A little research shows that "le queue" (meaning queue) is pronounced to rhyme with "deux" (meaning two) and "la cul" (meaning arse) is pronounced like "coo" or "kuh" and is supposed to be particularly offensive.

The French for "the elbow" is le coude which is another similar sound. I wonder if that's where our phrase "He couldn't tell his arse from his elbow" comes from.

The French are laughing at all the people in the UK who think they're posh because they live in a cul-de-sac; it literally mean the arse end of a bag.

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